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Haynes and Boone, LLP

Ben L. Mesches

Ben L. Mesches


Haynes and Boone, LLP
Texas, U.S.A.

tel: +1 214 651 5234
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Local Time: Tue. 06:28

Ben Mesches is co-chair of the firm's Litigation Department and maintains an active appellate and litigation practice. Ben successfully guides teams in significant cases in trial and appellate courts. Board certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Ben translates big-case litigation experience in business, energy, intellectual property, and bankruptcy disputes into practical business and legal solutions.

Ben has amassed a string of high-profile wins in the appellate courts. Just since 2013, he reversed a $10.7 million verdict; prevailed in a high profile energy case at the Texas Supreme Court; preserved an $81.4 million railroad-divestiture transaction in the Washington appellate courts, leading a team of lawyers from across the country; and secured a key ruling in a closely watched ballot-eligibility dispute on the eve of the election.

Ben's approach to appellate litigation begins in the trial court-before an appeal is ever filed. Clients seek his counsel to navigate the fast-paced post-verdict stage and develop crisis-management strategies in the aftermath of an adverse decision. Understanding that close collaboration with the trial team is critical, Ben has been the architect of winning litigation strategies in the trial court-both before and after trial.

Ben's peers recognize his collaborative leadership style. He just completed a term as chair of the ABA's Council of Appellate Lawyers-the only national appellate-bench organization in the country-and later this year will become the President of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society. Ben is regularly asked to write and speak on litigation and appellate practice topics, including issue selection and presentation, Fifth Circuit trends, bankruptcy appeals, and the post-verdict process.


J.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2001, with honors; Member, Texas Law Review
B.A., Political Science Trinity University, 1998, cum laude
Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

In the Fifth Circuit, upheld a municipality's zoning scheme related to natural gas production in the face of preemption, commerce clause, and eminent domain challenges. Enforced forum selection clause, in the Dallas Court of Appeals, resulting in the dismissal of franchisor's claims against franchisee. Reversal and rendition of a take-nothing judgment, in the Austin Court of Appeals, on employment-related harassment claims against retailer. Persuaded the Dallas Court of Appeals to reverse and render judgment dismissing claims against officers of a franchisor for lack of personal jurisdiction. Vacatur, in the Fort Worth Court of Appeals, of an award of damages and dismissal of suit because the probate court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over claims related to a right of first refusal. Obtained reversal, in the San Antonio Court of Appeals, of a temporary injunction freezing more than $150 million of assets held by real estate investors based on the Federal Arbitration Act's automatic-stay provision. In the Fifth Circuit, preserved summary judgment in an oil and gas case involving fraudulent transfer, turnover, and alter ego theories.

Trial Court Experience:
In a $200 million fraud and fiduciary duty case involving a complex energy transaction, procured dismissal of claims for lack of personal jurisdiction in Indiana federal court. In a medical partnership dispute, obtained relief from a multi-million jury verdict with a successful motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. In a multi-million dollar case under the Texas Securities Act in federal court, secured favorable jury charge and motion for judgment as a matter of law rulings, resulting in the complete dismissal of the plaintiff's claims on the eve of closing argument. In an oil and gas dispute alleging mutual and unilateral mistake in a deed, successfully argued the jury charge as part of a trial team that obtained a complete defense verdict. Through post-trial briefing, implemented a legal strategy that defeated an $80 million software-related copyright suit in federal court.

Bankruptcy Appeals:
In the Fifth Circuit, reversed a fee enhancement award granted to debtor's financial advisor, clarifying legal standards applicable to fee claims under § 328(a) of the Bankruptcy Code; On direct appeal to the Fifth Circuit, preserved a standing defense to a preference action based on a release and novation agreement; Persuaded the Fifth Circuit Court to dismiss - on equitable mootness grounds - the appeal of a $3.6 billion bankruptcy plan of reorganization, challenged by a competing bidder and the company's union; Obtained appellate ruling from a Delaware federal district court striking liquidated damages provision invoked by landlord in post-confirmation litigation about lease assumed by the debtor; In Fifth Circuit appeal addressing the intersection between the Bankruptcy Code's automatic-stay provision, the debtor's power over executory contracts, and the Anti-Assignment Act, blocked the federal government's attempt to terminate a power contractor; Vacated a summary judgment ruling that dismissed an action seeking to revoke a confirmation order.

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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